Saturday, April 12, 2008

Liberal Fascism

I am an avid reader, and digest several books a month, but never get a chance to talk about them. This book was interesting enough to warrant a post.

As an undergrad I majored in Russian and East European Studies, specializing in 20th century Soviet history, and was always befuddled why people considered Stalinist Russia to be left-wing, while Hilter's Germany was right wing. To me they both seemed the same to represent the same political philosophy, the power of the state over the individual, as the key driver of history.

Goldberg expounds on this observation and writes a comprehensive history of why fascism is in fact a left-wing, modern day liberal philosophy, and not right-wing or conversative. While he repeatively makes clear that he is not saying that modern day liberals are not fascist, almost to the point of annoyance, he does say that they have inherited a philosophical basis. While much of this well argued, some of his arguments, such as those attacking the film Dead Poets Society, are a bit stretched. The book definitely serves its purpose in starting a conversation on the meaning of fascism, and the modern American left though, and deserves reading.